It’s that time of year! Daylight Saving Time has officially come to an end, and the darkness of night will be upon us much earlier. This provides less time for outdoor chores and more time spent indoors. In other words, it’s a great time of year to dive into a good book.
As an avid reader, I (Pastor Justin) could provide many recommendations. But here are a handful of the favorites I’ve enjoyed throughout 2020 and 2021.
If you’re looking for a good Study Bible, here’s a post I wrote a couple years ago. Not much has changed on my recommendations list, and I continue to recommend the Life Application Study Bible as a great all-around study bible.
Christian / Spiritual Formation:
I really enjoy reading about Discipleship and Spiritual growth. While there are many pastors/authors highly dedicated to the topic, some of my personal favorites include:
Peter Scazzero believes, and I agree with him, that our emotional and spiritual health are intertwined. As such, one cannot grow emotionally without also growing spiritually. His books and studies are excellent resources and have had a tremendous impact in my life over the past 7-8 years.
Gentle and Lowly by Dane Ortlund
How does Jesus Christ feel about His people amid all their sins and failures? Dane Ortlund poetically answers this question in detail throughout this modern classic. If there are five books on the topic of Spiritual Formation I’d like to read every year, the above two by Peter Scazzero and Gentle and Lowly would all make the cut.
Forgiving What You Can’t Forget by Lysa TerKeurst
There are two books I regularly refer to on the topic of Forgiveness. One is The Book of Forgiving by Desmond Tutu. But the one I most recommend is TerKeurst’s Forgiving What You Can’t Forget. You’ll need to grab a blank journal as you navigate through this one, as there will be some specific questions asked to help you Collect the Dots, Connect the Dots, and Correct the Dots for any relationships in which forgiveness may be needed.
Fiction / Fantasy:
The Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson
If you enjoy some classics such as the Chronicles of Narnia or Lord of the Rings, the Wingfeather Saga by Andrew Peterson will surely capture your heart. I’ve read through the series three times and will likely delve into it again sometime this Winter. Peterson does an outstanding job crafting a story with themes of family, friendship, and grace. Whether a child or an adult, the series is an excellent read. And for those who love audiobooks, Andrew Peterson released a new edition in 2021 in which he narrates the books.
As an avid reader (48 books and counting for 2021), I could mention so many more. This year I’ve enjoyed a wide variety of books, from Project Hail Mary by Andy Weir, to Anxious People by Fredrik Backman, to Midnight Library by Matt Haig. My girls and I also enjoy a number of Fantasy/Sci-Fi books by Brandon Sanderson. While none of the above fall into a ‘Christian’ genre (and many may receive a PG-13 rating), there are a lot of great books out there, and this is the perfect time of year to pick one up.
If you’re looking for a book on a specific topic (or others in the Fiction category) that may not be mentioned above, feel free to leave a comment and let me know.